Gustave looked at the scene in front of him and smiled at the absurdity of it. Two supposed enemies, with the one who was meant to kill the other, is now trying to save them. Fate really does work in mysterious ways. Was it the butterfly effect manifesting its might following his arrival?
Though he was sure things wouldn't proceed as they were originally meant to, especially not so after his farce at the library, but this… who would've thought? Their history's idolized heroine came to heal their most hated villain.
Initially, he came here to prevent the tragedy that paved their world's damned future into a creek of blood and despair, no matter the means, he'd been instructed. Although no one said it aloud, he'd be stupid not to understand. He was to nip the threat in the bud; kill Oliver before he could grow into the maniac that destroyed their world.
Three millenniums into the future is the timeline he came from. He was a general who reached the end of his lifespan and was sent as a last resort to reshape their world's history. He was the most suitable candidate for the mission; not only because his innate magical talent is extraordinary, but also because he has ancestral relations to the Elderidge family.
Originally, Gustave, his ancestor, was to be taken as a war slave by the Easlowen kingdom that attacked his hometown. Because he was young, he was deemed useful so his life was spared, and later on, he successfully escaped his captors and turned his life around leaving a magnificent legacy for the later generations of the Astor family. Sadly, he was used to bait Mikel before he ran away, where the man was killed by the Easlowen mercenaries.
Mikel's death was a turning point in Oliver's life. Oliver was taken in by the church and the Elderidge family has fallen, having most of their assets divided between the kingdom's treasury and the Hawthorne family, whose heir succeeded Mikel as the chief of the Nearyn council.
According to historical records, Oliver started exhibiting mad tendencies, said to be a later emerging symptom of his advanced deathbell disease. No one could argue otherwise because no one carrying the disease lived long enough to confirm or deny such claims. Apparently, the kid grew crooked, and wished everyone to experience his pain, and suffer the same way he did.
In a fit of madness, Oliver destroyed the Light tree, the source of all magic, that exists in a secret cloister garden deep within the Nearyn church. The light tree was the heart of the Buryaqi forest and was, in fact, the faith of the Buryaqi race that the Nearyn kingdom was built around . No one knew how, a sickly kid with barely any magic to speak of, could destroy an ancient tree that had very powerful defensive means, strong enough to kill the strongest of magicians. What was known though, was Priestess Valdis' heroic attempt to use her own life to kill Oliver and save a portion of the Light tree's roots.
After that, the existence of the tree couldn't be kept a secret anymore, and it was discovered how the Nearyn kingdom grew so strong. Everyone started coveting the remains of the tree and a worldwide war erupted.
Focused on survival, no one noticed how the magic in the atmosphere started thinning down until it was too late. Especially because of the excessive fighting between different factions; allied offenders were desperate to end the oppressive reign of the Nearyn kingdom whose population of elite magicians was only a drop in the water compared to that of the other kingdoms' or even tribes'. The war lasted for near a century, exhausting the limited supply of magical energy, and aggravating the situation further.
The alarming truth, although did put an end to the ongoing massacre, didn't contribute much in salvaging the situation. Despite all efforts, the Light tree never grew again, and even its remaining roots were being corroded bit by bit.
Millenniums later, there was barely any magic left. People despaired facing their weakened bodies and short lifespans. No one could live past thirty. Not even the high technological development helped their case. Gustave was twenty-eight already when his superiors decided to have him sent back in time before his body collapses. The research for such endeavor has been going for a very long time, since no researcher could live long enough to finish, they had to establish a handover system making the next in line have at most a four to five years' period before passing it on to the most promising trainee in the team.
Previously, Gustave had no qualms whatsoever about killing Oliver, kid or not, sane or not. When you live in a world where you're considered an adult at ten, where the death rate is so high that human interactions were limited to physical or professional necessities, neither emotions nor morals played a part in his life. Oliver went down in history as the most hateful existence in the world. If he were any other, the kid would've already had his head rolling on the ground. He was loathed to no end.
The ex-general though, had to live here. It was not a lawless place for him to do as he wished. He had to restrain himself and consider the consequences before attempting anything. The day at the library was an unplanned mishap. He accidentally activated the almighty magic after reading an incantation from an old book that all but called on to him when he passed by.
During the process of awakening, the vivid emotions buried deep within his cold heart came rushing forth the moment he laid eyes on Oliver, and like an erupted volcano, he mercilessly channeled the seal's rampant energy outburst to crush the shaking figure without a second thought.
He never would've thought the sickly, week looking kid had it in him to fight back even at the brink of death. Gustave knew Oliver wanted to take him down with him as made obvious by the cold gaze he received before the explosion and he would've succeeded had it not been for his luck and quick reflex.
At that moment, looking at what he thought was the dead body of his supposed enemy, he held admiration and a twinge of regret. How brave, he thought.
Remembering the relief he felt when the butler announced Oliver was still alive, Gustave almost laughed out loud at his idiocy. He wasn't as heartless as he thought himself to be, huh.
But no matter, Oliver shouldn't be a threat anymore, right? Maybe his interference would change things; his father is still alive, his deathbell disease is healed and he could live a normal, carefree life. As long as he remained away from the church, he wouldn't even know of the existence of the Light tree in the first place.
Gustave doesn't want to kill him anymore.
How laughable of him to want to spare the person he vowed to eradicate as vengeance for the irreparable damage he brought upon his world. Still, looking at the tiny, peaceful looking Oliver, he couldn't even muster some shame for his change of heart.
"What are you doing?" the slight dry voice brought Gustave out of his reverie. Looking up, he saw the small pale hand of Oliver tightly holding that of the priestess, his fury easily perceivable in the watery blue eyes coldly staring at the young woman.
Gustave's heart thumped in slight excitement at seeing the kid's cold eyes again.
He's awake at last.
More Privileged Chapters
Download the app and become a privileged reader today! Come take a sneak peek at our author's stockpiled chapters!Download
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.