A squadron was marching toward a small village, in the middle of nowhere, to the north of the Empire.
The rest of the army was also present, surrounding the insignifiant village.
What kind of threat could be hidden in this small village, forcing the Empire to bring thousands of soldiers to this desolated place?
In fact, it was just a small and normal village, which could be wiped out with only twenty soldiers or so.
However, unluckily for the poor villagers, the one known as The Great Magus, after announcing his retirement as the Imperial Magus a few month ago, had chosen this small and calm village as his new home.
Had it stayed like this, everything would have been fine, if not for the succession of the new Emperor, after the death of the previous one, to an unknown disease. The new Emperor, unlike his late father, was an expansionist whose sole ambition was to subject the continent to the rule of the Empire. Convoiting the power of the Great Magus as an asset in the war to come, he send his troups to force him back in the empire, or at least make sure that no other country would receive his help.
Among each squadron of soldiers were mages, part of the Magic Corps, dispatched to restrain the Great Magus. At this moment, they were cowering in fear at the idea of fighting him. Many among them had been taught by him, and even for the other, he was a living legend for the mages of the continent. They could only hope that the trouble would resolve peacefully.
At this moment, when the squadron walking toward the village was nearing the fields, an immense barrier surged up from the ground around the village, engulfing the village in a perfect sphere. The barrier seemed to be made of wind carrying dust at high speed, making it totally impossible to see what was inside.
Some of the soldiers, the most courageous, or maybe the most stupid, tried to pass through the barrier, only to be ripped apart. The cries of pain that welcomed their deaths echoed around the barrier, freezing the blood of all those earing them.
Inside the barrier, a black veil had covered the sky, as if night had fallen, excepted there was no stars, and obviously no moon. Only the pale light of the magic circle in the middle of the village, the source of the barrier, was lighting the surroundings.
An elder man was standing near the circle of light, panting, and trying to recover the enormous amount of mana used to created this spell. He hoped that the barrier would last long enough, allowing him to make preparation. If the worst came, he would tear the opposing army apart and leave this village, but in the few months that he had spend in this village, he started to appreciate this small community, and if possible, he didn't want to leave.
In a dark room, unknown to the elder who was making plan for the future, an antic Artifact, whose purpose was unknown even to him, started to resonate with the magic circle, and begun to release it's long held power, that would render all those plans useless.
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