The Experimental Log of the Crazy Lich - novelonlinefree.info
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"In the year AD 392, the sixteenth year of the Holy War of that era, the Bardi Emperor Orloss the Thirteenth didn't act as decisively and proactively as was typical of him. Instead, he kept up a series of incredibly defensive and passive strategies. Although he did increase military preparations, he merely sat back as warfare reached a stalemate in other countries."
"However, this was a year when unavoidable war came looking for them, no matter if they wanted it or not. The undead came for their land. Three months after the Bardi Empire's capital was mysteriously shrouded in permanent darkness, the undead arrived. In just one night, countless Dimensional Doors to the Undead Planes opened up in various countries, the largest one of all located in the Bardi Empire's capital. On the same night, Undead Emperor Aso from the Desecration Plane descended into the mortal plane and used a forbidden spell, causing an Undead Calamity in the Bardi Empire's capital. Ninety percent of the Bardi Empire's population was transformed into undead, and the entire country known as the Bardi Empire perished, becoming nothing more than a footnote in history."
The above was the game's "history" of what happened to the Bardi Empire in the end. Orloss the Thirteenth who was celebrated as a skilled leader became known as nothing more than a pushover. The Bardi Empire also proved that the idea of standing by on the sidelines and simply watching was the worst, most suicidal idea of all in this particular Holy War.
However, the real Eich I was in was obviously different from the game's storyline. At the very least, due to the existence of the four Elemental Gods and the absence of the game's players, the Elemental Tide increased far quicker than anticipated. The Holy War began several years early as well. The Undead Emperors weren't supposed to descend until ten years later so the undead came earlier than the game's "history," too.
"Overall, the events in the game's 'history' have been pushed forward by roughly nine to fifteen years. I hope Emordilorcan's death will at least slow things down a little. Otherwise, events will really get troublesome if the new generation's heroes don't even get a chance to grow up and mature."
Of course, I wasn't too worried about this. To use a cliché phrase: the tides of history were unstoppable. No single person or random coincidence would be able to change the big picture, and the wars that were destined to explode would be unavoidable. There were many things that were far too complex, with too many objective factors involved. It was tremendously difficult to analyze what was beneficial and what wasn't.
The wars would come earlier and we now had less time to prepare? This also meant that the major human countries would avoid roughly ten years of internal strife amongst themselves. Whether this was an overall gain or a loss was impossible to calculate.
The heroes from the game's "history" still lacked time to grow and mature? Well, this would indeed influence things as nobody would count on a snot-nosed young brat to be a hero and save the day. They would only be newbies and novices that were barely passable as soldiers, nor would they have their reputations and teams in place yet. There was no guarantee that the game's "heroes" would finally become the same powerful characters like in the game's "history."
However, true heroes were born of the times. Even if one country's Hero A died off, perhaps there was an Archmage B or a Rogue C that would show up and prove to be even more powerful than the Hero A from the game. Nobody could predict such things.
Another result of the human countries having roughly ten fewer years of warfare amongst themselves was that several currently famous warriors destined to die in human versus human conflicts would live and be able to face our enemies. For example, the overall commander of the Holy Light's allied armies, that Eagle of Bejaso, was someone truly impressive—he was ranked 7th on the Eich's famous warriors rankings. However, in the game's "history," he was destined to die seven years from now after choking on two undercooked eggs he ate too hastily…
Apart from those who chose to commit suicide, nobody could know how they would die. To be honest, the reasons for certain heroes' deaths would end up being the biggest joke of their lives. When I recalled the way Gordon would die in the game, I was even quite satisfied with and proud of myself that my deaths were quite perfect in comparison… Wait, I was being proud of how I died? Something seemed off about this. Forget it, I might as well get back on topic.
Cough, anyways, based on my understanding of history, trying to analyze the butterfly effects caused by anything I did would be as unreliable as trying to utilize divination magic. The more one tried to think about it, the more mistakes one would make.
The most obvious example was regarding the Bardi Empire's "history."
Should I say that the situation was worse? At the very least, in the game's "history," the Bardi Empire was still supposed to be at peace and flourishing. It definitely shouldn't have reached the brink, with three major enemies—the Mage Country, the undead, and the Holy Light army, any of which could possibly destroy the Bardi Empire.
Yet, from another standpoint, the undead's plot was now exposed, and there was no longer any possibility of the undead completely taking over the Bardi Empire from the inside. At the very least, the Bardi Empire's fate of instantly being destroyed by an Undead Calamity in a single day had been avoided. Should I say that the Bardi Empire was in a better situation than it was in the game?
"Ha, nobody probably knows. After all, fate is something that even the God of Fate can't ascertain. If you look too far in the future, you'll miss the hole in the road right before you and trip and fall. Knowing what's going on in the present is enough."
Yes, the most I could do was understand the present. I would plant seeds for the future and change as much as I could; I'd try my best to guide the overall situation into developing in a good direction.
Of course, this didn't mean that the game's "history" was unimportant. In fact, I always felt that my knowledge of the game's history was my greatest cheat of all. With the game's information on all sorts of characters and events as references, it was quite easy for me to understand what certain people were like or the truth behind various events. I could even prepare beforehand for many incidents that nobody would normally be able to predict.
However, this advantage of mine would become more and more useless as "history" changed. From a certain standpoint, that was something I was really conflicted about. Nevertheless, the greater the differences from the game's history, the more evidence there was that my hard work had been effective.
Even if I told others about the "history" of what should have happened to the Bardi Empire, nobody would have understood or believed me. And, from a certain standpoint, the Bardi Empire's princes fighting for the throne would be the least happy to hear the information I had.
After all, these princes all viewed their adopted father, Emperor Orloss, as an elderly man on the verge of death at any moment. But the truth was that in the game's history, he would still live on just fine for another twenty plus years until the Undead Calamity. No matter how much the princes messed around, they were probably just monkeys toying around to Emperor Orloss.
Just this one little tidbit of information—that Emperor Orloss was destined to remain alive for another twenty-plus years—would drastically change the political situation in the Bardi Empire. That was just how much power that predetermined knowledge possessed.
If I tossed out the news that "Emperor Orloss still has more than twenty years of lifespan remaining," the entire political situation in the Bardi Empire would be shaken. The First Prince's faction, Eighth Prince's faction and so on would all disappear. However, the domain lords would probably rebel immediately as they wouldn't be patient enough to wait for another twenty-plus years if only they knew.
In the end, however, the situation would become too unclear if I did that since there were too many uncertain factors—there were downsides as well as benefits—hence I refrained from doing so.
Since every variable was constantly changing, how could I possibly make a complete analysis of the overall situation based on only one factor or one piece of information? If someone was able to do such a thing, that would only be because they already knew the answer.
Based on my common sense, only by gathering enough information and after plentiful logical reasoning with help from others could one make the best analysis for the future, no matter how limited the conclusion. The accuracy of the conclusion would also be directly proportional to how much information one possessed.
That was why I never understood how main characters in certain novels had intelligence levels seemingly bordering on the demonic. These main characters had the ability to overturn some megnefarious scheme based on a single detail. Some managed to make their plans go off without a single hitch anywhere, and some would always succeed in making individuals with exceedingly differing personalities act just the way they wanted. After all, a person might take actions different from their norm based on their mood, or a seemingly brutish man might actually be the cautious and intelligent type. Guessing an enemy's reaction to a plan was something akin to guessing what your enemy wanted to eat for dinner tonight. If a main character could accurately guess and control all such factors… well, I felt that a main character's "plot armor" counted as a far more unreasonably powerful cheat than anything I possessed.
Cough, I seem to have accidentally gotten off track again while giving my personal opinion. I should get back to the main topic.
Yep, let's go with the conclusion—strange. It was incredibly strange, no matter if it was the Mage Country or the Bardi Empire, in the game's "history" or the current timeline. There were countless things that seemed incredibly strange.
The strange parts were there from the very start: why exactly did the Bardi Empire have to provoke the "harmless" Mage Country Arlodante? If it was merely to expand their territory and power, the Bardi Empire had plenty of other neighbors to choose from. Why would they intentionally choose the most difficult one of all to fight with?
The Mage Country's actions were even stranger. Why was it that the eternally neutral Mage Country would respond with a forbidden spell, something only used when one was forced to the brink, for mere border conflicts and provocation? When did mages start becoming more impatient than berserkers?
Why was it that the always relatively peaceful neutral Mage Country suddenly become more warlike than even warhawks? Not to mention, this incredibly aggressive action of using a forbidden spell didn't even receive backlash from the other archmages of the Truth Symposium?
Why was it exactly that they would reject the Bardi Empire's offer to make peace? Even if the mages destroyed the entire Bardi Empire, what benefits would they possibly gain? Were the mages intending on changing their habits and taking up the lifestyle of conquerors?
On the other side of things, in the game's "history," there were plenty of questionable things as well. For example, just why the Bardi Empire became a completely isolationist country, which was the exact opposite of how it currently was? Also, just what exactly happened to the Bardi Empire's dragon knights? Why was there no record as well?
"Sigh, it feels like both sides are still treating me as an outsider."
When putting together all the information I possessed, no matter how I thought about it, I still felt like I was missing a large piece of the puzzle. Since it was unlikely that all the mages had gone insane together, there was naturally something that I didn't yet know. Whatever I didn't know was the cause behind why the situation kept continuously developing differently from my expectations.
"It would seem that even Margaret won't be able to easily obtain this information for me."
Thorn Garden and the recent products I started selling through it were the best advertisements for me. I had been working quite hard at getting myself involved in the Cloud Tower's community, making the archmages here recognize my existence. The fact that my Reputation level kept continuously increasing in my System was the best numerical evidence that my efforts had indeed been effective.
However, life wasn't a game. Even if I ranked my Reputation level all the way up to Venerated, that didn't mean that all the mages would venerate me. Trust was something that needed time to establish. I still had to deal with the baggage of my former reputation so I needed concrete actions to prove that I was trustworthy. Unfortunately, all such things needed time.
What I lacked the most right now was time. Even though I knew that Margaret would be highly displeased with me, I still called her over here to help me out. After all, Margaret was a member of the Cloud Tower. Of course, the best scenario would be if Amelia could come as well.
Still, I trusted in Margaret's abilities. Since she hadn't obtained the information I was missing, it was likely that there were incredibly few archmages that knew the truth.
Yet there were definitely multiple people that knew what was going on. For example, whoever it was that cast the forbidden spell attacking the Bardi Empire's fortress in the first place. Also, the eighteen major mage organizations hadn't mentioned any objections about the forbidden spell even now; that meant that the eighteen largest mage organizations' leaders all knew what must have happened. And we were soon about to start talking to the leader of one of those mage organizations.
"Blackeye, the leader of the Sword of Order? That name makes me nostalgic."
The Cloud Tower's famous "Tower of Ten Thousand Spells" wasn't actually a mage tower. Instead, it was a meeting room.
It didn't appear large from the outside, but its interior was enchanted with spatial magic—more than ten thousand people could easily fit inside. In the Cloud Tower, where every square centimeter of property was prohibitively expensive, this time of spatial magic was quite common.
But, no matter which building you compared the Tower of Ten Thousand Spells to, this tower would forever be considered a top-level construction. The tiles here were as white as jade, made out of mithril that had been enhanced several times. The star sand on the walls created maps of the constellations that made them resemble ancient mystical secrets. Every seat in this classroom was sculpted out of natural jade. Although there was nothing outrageously extravagant here, just the price of the materials used to create this huge conference room was one that no other human country could bear.
The Truth Symposium typically held its meetings here. Various archmages wearing their extravagant robes would enter together. Each seat had a mystical code floating in midair next to it, while all the documents being discussed would be projected onto a large projector screen in the middle of the room. The observers' seats would be filled with mages who would listen in on the Truth Symposium's conference, and all the policies would usually be passed at the end. This place would become a lively hotbed of activity in the city of Arlo.
But, today, when this most important conference room of all was put to use again, the round table in the center of the room had much fewer empty seats than usual, while the observers' seats were all empty. It was a non-public Truth Symposium conference, something incredibly rare.
"Twenty-two out of the twenty-eight Truth Overseers have arrived for today's Truth Symposium conference. Fifteen out of the eighteen major mage organizations' leaders have arrived as well. This is the best attendance record in the past five years. Well, since everyone knows just how important this meeting today is, let's just directly discuss the main topic at hand."
The Seven-Colored Tower was the mage organization where elemental magic mages thrived. Archmage Antonio was the representative of the Seven-Colored Tower, as well as the strongest fire magic and fire element forbidden spell mage of all. I felt like he closely resembled the mascot of Kentucky Fried Chicken from my previous world, which made him appear like a friendly, gentle old man. However, those truly familiar with Antonio knew that he hadn't chosen the wrong specialty. After all, Antonio's temper when he was young had been worse than the inferno demons from the lower planes.
Now that Antonio was much older, his temper had indeed subsided, and his white-bearded appearance really did make him look like Colonel Sanders. He even accepted the task of hosting today's Truth Symposium conference. However, everyone here knew that Antonio was an individual to be reckoned with.
"I'll just say it directly. This time, our trouble is still the same—those dragons."