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    The reason Cardmos Klein decided to take his own life was quite simple.

    It happened after he had been in power for over 300 years.

    One day, as he was idly leaving the government meeting to his descendants, as he always did, he heard a commotion coming from the courtyard.

    “How much longer must I live like this, following after that old man?”

    “But Lord Remus, you know very well that you are the firstborn of the imperial family.”

    “That damned firstborn, firstborn!”

    Cardmos, rarely hearing anyone raise their voice to him in the palace, listened with interest instead of annoyance.

    Remus. That was the name of the clever descendant who had recently been presiding over the government meetings in his place.

    He was quite old, but it seemed his vigor had not waned.

    “If I fulfill my duty as the firstborn, will that monster finally die? Will he give up the throne?”

    “Lord Remus! Calm yourself. Such talk could be misconstrued as treason!”

    “Let them misinterpret it!”

    The content of his descendant’s words was more serious than he had thought.

    But it was the desperate tone of his voice that struck him the most.

    That day, the despair, anger, and resignation in his voice resonated deeply with Cardmos.

    “Don’t you understand, uncle? My great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all lived like this! They were crushed by the responsibility of being the firstborn, spending decades polishing a throne they could never inherit!”

    “But Lord Remus…”

    “And that monster’s youngest son is only one year old! That suckling baby is now first in line to the throne! How much longer does he intend to live? Are my children, decades later, to be forced to watch their great-grandfather be born?”

    His descendant was almost sobbing.

    “Do you know how the officials look at me in the government meetings, uncle? What am I to them? Am I the one who will inherit the throne and rule over them, or am I just a servant who keeps the throne warm?”

    It was then that Cardmos realized.

    What a mess of a family tree!

    It was no wonder. The children he had with his empress in his youth had all died long ago, leaving behind grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

    And the baby he had with his young empress a few years ago was now learning to walk.

    Although Holy Emperor Cardmos was revered as a demigod, he did not rule them directly. And the authority of the true ruler had already fallen to the ground due to the fact that he had no chance of inheriting the throne.

    Even Cardmos, who lived without much thought, could see it by now. This country could not last long.

    “It seems it’s time for me to step aside…”

    Cardmos stared at his hands. At his will, the divine power moved, and the faint gold scales on his forearms rippled and disappeared.

    He had never shared his divine power with his descendants before. Because of this primal power, he had complete control over the divine.

    But would a slightly longer lifespan and slightly stronger divine power be enough for Cardmos to lead the vast empire he had maintained?

    “I will use the laws of the imaginary world.”

    When he confided his worries to his old friend, Sigurd Sigurdson, the storyteller who traveled between dimensions, suggested this.

    “If you seal your body so that the primal power doesn’t run wild, you can easily pass on part of your divine power to your descendants.”

    “But what if I lose control completely?”

    “Wouldn’t it be possible to slowly collect the divine power from your descendants before that happens? Perhaps their divine power will become weaker over time, but by then the empire will be on a stable course.”

    I see.

    Cardmos still looked anxious, but the storyteller smiled reassuringly and added,

    “Don’t worry too much, my old friend. Even if the primal power is released because the timing is wrong, this sarcophaguss will prevent the slightest bit of its demonic energy from leaking out, as if the dimensions are being separated. That is the nature of the laws of the imaginary world.”

    Cardmos smiled in satisfaction after confirming that the Sarcophagus of the Holy Emperor was working properly.

    Well, now it’s time to take a break. Not that I’ve ever really worked.

    And so, the first Holy Emperor was buried in the sarcophagus, still in his living form.

    And Remus, who inherited part of his divine power and became the second Holy Emperor, began his bloody reign by executing his infant great-grandfather and all the courtiers who were out of favor, starting with the execution of his newborn baby, great-grandfather.

    ***

    After hundreds of years, the Holy Empire of a Thousand Years had firmly established itself as the center of the continent.

    Cardmos had enjoyed a truly leisurely retirement during this time.

    He spent decades wandering around as a soul, and occasionally, when he got bored, he would borrow the body of a person who was about to die and live a new life.

    It was unfortunate that the souls who faced his divine power usually melted away without a trace, but he didn’t care.

    According to the [Covenant] of the Primal God, most of the souls who died in Delcross would end up in the hands of the high-ranking demon kings anyway.

    Cardmos was in the midst of rationalizing to himself that it was better for them to disappear comfortably than to suffer eternally in their hell.

    The Saintess Gracia was also a saint born during one of these amusements.

    She was a woman who neglected her own body and served others for some reason.

    Cardmos watched her as she went through the trials and tribulations, using his divine power to keep her alive. He wondered how far she would go, and before he knew it, she had become a saint and was revered by future generations.

    And then, 20 years ago.

    Cardmos decided that it was time to finally reclaim the divine power that had been granted to his descendants.

    It so happened that all the divine power that remained with his descendants was strangely concentrated in one child. Cardmos saw that the child was destined to die soon, so he decided to mark the child with the Saintess’s mark.

    However, contrary to his expectations, the child did not appear at the next Holy Emperor’s crown coronation ceremony.

    Cardmos was furious and appeared before the 16th Holy Emperor, who had brazenly entered the ceremony alone, and rebuked him harshly. 

    But this useless descendant of his did not even think of looking for the child. He was terrified and fled, never to seek him out again.

    ‘It’s all because of that child….’

    Cardmos’s golden irises narrowed as he stared at his outstanding descendant, who was sneering at him.

    It was truly a strange thing. Where did such a guy come from?

    Unlike his useless father, this guy immediately became furious when the mark appeared on his daughter’s body and sealed him, who was labeled a demigod, in the basement of the church.

    Although it was possible because it was a place where the rules of the imaginary world applied, Cardmos had no choice but to admire his strength.

    Of course, the fact that he was so annoying was a separate issue.

    [It’s not too late now, child. Do you know how many fates have been twisted because of the laws of causality you have overturned? That’s why you sent this fake saintess to drag me out, isn’t it?]

    “……”

    [Now, hand over your child obediently. Only then will I personally descend into this world in her body and punish those who are wrong. I will gladly relieve you of that heavy burden.]

    “…I will give you those exact words back.”

    As soon as the story of Sisle came out, a chilling light flashed in the Holy Emperor’s silver-gray eyes as he glared at Cardmos.

    “Who do you dare speak of cause and effect to? Did you think I really didn’t know your true identity?”

    […What?]

    “If you truly want to hear that impure name of the Primal God from me, then so be it.”

    [……!]

    Krrrrrrrng.

    Cardmos’s aura, which had let out a beast-like cry from his larynx, became extremely sinister.

    Fangs protruded from his mouth, and the shapes of golden scales began to ripple here and there on his skin.

    [You are determined to see this through to the end, aren’t you……]

    The Holy Emperor’s aura also became immensely fierce.

    The hem of his white robe fluttered in the wind that blew from nowhere. The furniture scattered around the office was swept up by the wind, crashing into each other and then soaring into the air.

    “That seems like it would be good for both of us. I thought there might be room for dialogue, but it was purely my mistake.”

    Kuuung!

    The entire palace building began to shake as if an earthquake had struck, due to the violent currents of air that erupted from them and collided.

    Cracks appeared in one of the walls of the office, and stone dust fell down.

    It was then.

    “Hmm, shouldn’t you two stop now? Thanks to you, the garden outside is completely ruined and it’s a total mess, you know?”

    “……!?”

    […How did you get here?]

    The Holy Emperor and Cardmos simultaneously looked back at the entrance of the office where the voice had come from.

    There, a boy stood staggering, holding onto the cracked doorframe.

    It was unclear when he had arrived, but he was covered in wounds. He wiped the blood flowing from his nose and mouth with his sleeve and smiled brightly.

    “It seems you were both so focused on the conversation that you didn’t notice. If you don’t stop soon, the palace might collapse. It’s almost the birthday celebration, and you know there are a lot of guests staying in the palace, right?”

    The two of them simultaneously retracted their aura, as if they had made an agreement.

    [That wicked thing……!]

    Before Cardmos could say anything.

    Whoosh!

    Suddenly, a tremendous gust of aura swept in and blew him out of the terrace in the blink of an eye.

    [……!?]

    Kaboom!

    Cardmos, who had suddenly been thrown into the palace garden along with the desk, got up feeling bewildered. The Holy Emperor was no longer paying attention to him and had already rushed to the boy, pouring divine power on him from head to toe.

    “Morres! Where on earth are you sticking your head in!”

    “Ah… I guess you were in the middle of an important conversation. Did I interrupt you? I apologize.”

    “No, it was nothing. I was just wasting my time on trivial matters. Are you okay?”

    “Hmm, I’m fine now. Thank you.”

    What is this atmosphere?

    Cardmos, who had suddenly become a bystander, stared at them blankly.

    “Anyway, what’s going on here?”

    “Oh, it’s nothing. I just had something to tell you, and I stopped by while I was at it. But the palace was strangely empty. And the palace was shaking and I felt a strange aura inside, so I came to see what was going on.”

    “Then you should have called the guards, or just waited for the situation to end from a distance!”

    “Haha, as you know Father, I have a hard time holding back my curiosity.”

    “Are you saying that you did the right thing now!”

    Smack! With a sound, the boy screamed and fell backwards.

    Cardmos, who was speechless, jumped back up to the second floor terrace and saw the boy clutching his forehead and rolling around on the floor, while the Holy Emperor looked down at him and clicked his tongue.

    He seemed completely at peace, not even considering his existence.

    Cardmos swallowed the unknown anger that was welling up inside him and clenched his teeth.

    […Are you saying that you guys are ignoring me right now?]

    The Holy Emperor looked at him with a very annoyed expression and opened his mouth.

    “Watch carefully, son.”

    “…Yes?”

    As the boy rubbed his forehead and looked back at him, the Holy Emperor slowly stretched out one hand towards Cardmos and continued his explanation.

    “The laws of the imaginary world are very unique. Sometimes, things happen that cannot be understood by the logic of power alone. Among them, the most important law is [Condition].”

    “Condition?”

    “Yes, as long as that condition is not met, there is an absolute domain or boundary that cannot be broken through, no matter how strong the power is.”

    The boy tilted his head.

    “Can’t you break through it with force?”

    “Yes. For example, a door that will never open without a specific condition would be one of them.”

    “Aha!”

    The boy’s expression brightened as the Holy Emperor’s explanation continued, but on the other hand, Cardmos’s ominous feeling grew stronger and stronger.

    And then.

    “That’s why the souls of the imaginary world are not destroyed and preserved even with such strong divine power, and the bodies of the imaginary world can only contain him.”

    With those words.

    Click.

    Suddenly, Cardmos heard a sound of something fitting into place in his head.

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